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Research by Topic

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My research focuses on three areas in empirical Industrial Organization. The first analyzes public policy issues in the cable and satellite television industry, economic and econometric consequences of bundling and/or quality choice, or both. The second analyzes the economics of information, in particular how consumer learning and advertising influences demand, competition, and market performance. The last considers issues of dynamic competition.

Cable Television, Bundling, and Quality Choice

  • "The Welfare Effects of Bundling in Multi-Channel Television Markets,'' (joint with Ali Yurukoglu), forthcoming, American Economic Review.
    • A comprehensive econometric model of demand, pricing, channel-distributor bargaining, and bundling in multichannel (i.e. cable and satellite) television markets. Incorporates both the programming and advertising markets and simulates of outcomes under an a la carte pricing regime. Finds consumers would be no better off on average under a la carte.

Information, Learning, and Advertising

  • " Uncertainty and Learning in Pharmaceutical Demand ," (with Matthew Shum), Econometrica, 73n4 (July 2005), 1135-1174.
    • Specifies and estimates a model of consumer learning for pharmaceutical drugs.
  • "The Empirical Consequences of Advertising Content in the Hungarian Mobile Phone Market,'' (with Jozsef Molnar), March 2008.
    • A new project analyzing the impacts of advertising with differing content (e.g. price, characteristic, image) on economic outcomes in the mobile phone market.
    • Status: Preliminary report for Hungarian Competitino Authority finished in March 2008. Mostly descriptive.
  • "The Impact of Ratings and Word-of-Mouth on DVD Rentals: An Analysis of the Netflix Data," (with Ivan Maryanchyk), February 2007.
    • A new project analyzing the Netflix data. Initial focus on the impact of user ratings and "word-of-mouth" on rental demand.
    • Status: Work in progress. Data is up and preliminary demand estimates in place.

Dynamic Competition

  • "A Virtual Stakes Approach to Measuring Competition in Product Markets," (with R. Michael Black, Shihua Lu, and Hal White), mimeo, May 2004.
    • Virtual Stakes measure the extent to which observed pricing behavior in a market deviates from "competitive" (Bertrand-Nash) outcomes and relates these to factors that are evidence of or thought to influence collusive behavior.
    • Status: Preliminary draft available upon request. Empirical example in progress.
  • "Storability, Competition, and Sales: Do Firms Cut Prices to Steal Demand from Rivals or Themselves?,'' (with James J. Anton), April 2005.
    • Tests the implications of Anton and Das Varma (2005) using supermarket scanner data.
    • Status: Data in place but needs to be cleaned. Work in progress.
  • "A Dynamic Model of Quality Competition in Subscription Television Markets,'' (with Alex Shcherbakov), March 2007.
    • A dynamic model of quality competition between cable and satellite providers.
    • Status: 15-year panel dataset in place. Economic and econometric model in development.

Other Work